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Boutique Call

Boutique Call: The Fearless Group

Two boutique calls in one month? Well, you don’t say. Anyhow, NYC is home to a new agency launched by Madison Ave vets dubbed The Fearless Group (no relation to Alex Bogusky‘s FearLess Revolution, we believe). The name of this new shop, which made its presence known in Times Square recently (above), is pretty appropriate when you consider the words of partner Robert Davidman, who says, “Fear has played a major part in decision making in advertising and marketing. We at Fearless contend that it’s a phenomenon everyone knows about, but doesn’t want to acknowledge. The fact is fearful behavior produces safe advertising and yet safety is not an obviously desirable communications objective. Brands and agencies need to confront and manage fear in order to properly communicate with today’s consumers from TV through to Twitter.”

Davidman’s co-conspirators at Fearless include former Universal McCann chairman/CEO Robin Kent, former IPG partnership CEO/TBWA London OG Jerry Judge and ex-BBDO, Saatchi, Y&R New York senior creative Peter Gibb. Early TFG clients include local eatery Pure Foods and if you’re looking to delve further into the agency’s philosophy and check out full bios, the website is up and running.

Boutique Call: Good Girls

Ah yes, it’s been quite a while since our last Boutique Call, so nothing like a Friday to dust off the old category. Your latest new shop to open up is Good Girls, which consists of ex-BBH and StrawberryFrog creatives. Founded by Holly Lynch, who serves as CEO, the Tribeca-based outfit officially opened its doors today and dubs itself “a branding/advertising company with a niche in working with entrepreneurial women.”

Here’s Good Girls four-step brand-building process:

•       In-Take Phase – Each project begins with an in-take session, during which The Good Girls works with each client company to construct a dedicated team that will bring their brand to life
•       Workshop Phase – An action-based brand-creation workshop to develop an initial brand brief and identify the company’s communications objectives and technology requirements
•       Brand-Concept Phase – The creation of the brand concept or prototype, and an initial business and marketing plan focused on the long-term engagement of customers with the brand
•       Brand-to-Market Phase – Drawing on a team of independent partners who can best bring the concept to life, The Good Girls provides a full suite of creative and production services focusing on digital execution and in-market success-measurement and analytics tools

Other Good Girls staffers include chief creative Raanan Gabriel, who arrives from MRM Worldwide, where he served as VP, director of digital creative production. Joining Lynch and Gabriel is BBH/KBS+P/Euro RSCG alum Alexa Knight, whose title is director of strategic development, and creative Shawna Laken, a Strawberry Frog and Saatchi & Saatchi alum.

The full Good Girls site looks like it has some time to launch but you can find out some info here.

Boutique Call 2.0: iNDELIBLE

Taking a cue from our  Boutique Calls from back in the day, we decided to take a look at some of the shops that may be flying under the radar, and get a little background as well as their input on relevant industry topics. And since social media chatter is inescapable these days, we decided to pick the brain of the folks at Indelible (or iNDELIBLE as they like to spell it), an 11-year-old, NYC-based digital shop that calls itself an “experience commerce company.” Speaking of “experience commerce,” Indelible was nominated for a Webby last year in the Best E-Commerce Site category for its Rich & Skinny Jeans destination.  Seeing as they’ve launched  several social media campaigns  as of late spanning from cosmetics to film, we decided to take a look at Indelible and get the self-proclaimed “web video pioneer”‘s take on the much-discussed medium.

How does your agency define social media activation?

Social media activation is the process whereby consumer insight is leveraged to ignite enthusiasm and dialogue with a brand. At Indelible, we break consumers into two groups:

1. Existing Customer Base: This consists of engaging a brand’s current customers through owned media including but not limited to; email Database, loyalty Programs, in-store signage, current Facebook fans and current Twitter, to name a few. These consumers require different strategies to be activated as they already consumer and know the brand and thus don’t need to be sold. Activation of this group means exciting the base, sparking a two‐way dialogue.

2. New Customers: These are consumers who are not currently a part of a brand’s owned media, however, determined by research, to be the most likely to purchase products or services in the category. Activation of this group requires tapping into their passions while creating brand awareness. The ultimate goal is to use social to usher them through the conversion funnel.

Read on after the jump…

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Boutique Call: DECON


Do you ever think about what’s happening right this very moment at (insert name of some cool place you visited once that sticks out in your mind)? There’s this little bar on the coast of somewhere called something. I had a few beers there once. I wish there was a blog for that bar.

Learn about DECON NYC.

Name/Location: DECON/New York City, New York

Motto: Context. Concept. Content.

Founded: 2001

About: “We are a unique collective creating savvy, visually articulate and conceptually solid cultural works.”

Netflix, 2K Sports, Kubler Absinthe, Sony Ericsson, Right Gin, Universal, Teva, Zune, Yahoo!, Fuse, IFC

Something Fun: “It’s always fun.”

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Boutique Call: Driven

Name/Location: Driven. Royal Oak, MI.

Motto: “If you’re willing to accept good you’ll never achieve great.”

Founded: “March 2005. By two account guys Sam Chiodo and Kevin Woods and two creative guys Brian Cusac and John Cymbal. All four spent time at pretty much every shop in Detroit.”

About: “DRIVEN is a small full-service “think-tank” agency in Royal Oak, Michigan, made up of professional renegades and rebels from the world of “big” advertising. A team of account directors, creative thinkers and media planners who offer the experience of working on some of the largest accounts in the world, from automotive, to home furnishing retailers, to soda pop companies, to everything in between. Their years of experience and relationships within the industry allow them to draw from the best of the best in ideation. Their creative stable includes award-winning writers and art directors, as well as, artists, musicians, strategic thinkers, media planners, and dreamers, all of whom are DRIVEN to deliver cutting edge solutions for select clients.”

Clients: “Jets Pizza, Wayne State University, Frankenmuth CVB, Founders Brewing, Inc., United Road, Mike Bass Ford, Bass Mazda and Locust Development.”

Something Fun: “When you party with Driven there’s a 50% chance you’ll end up in jail. Our agency culture is about having fun. If we’re not having a blast and doing great work, what’s the point?”

Booty Calls

Boutique Call: Substance


Agency/Location: Substance/Portland, Oregon

Motto: “Always do better.”

Founded: 2007 by Stephen Landau and David Lowe-Rogstad, two creative directors who were fed up with dinosaur agencies in a digital world.

About: We are digital brand specialists. We design and build websites and branded applications, develop brand and content strategies, and provide user interface/user experience (UI/UX) consulting. In short, we do great work for clients that give a shit.

Clients: The Portland Trail Blazers, bambu, Travel Oregon, ClimatePath

Something Fun: Fridays are all vinyl, all classic rock, all day.

Web site:

Boutique Call: Stick and Move

Agency/Location: STICK and MOVE, Philadelphia, PA;

Motto: Have conversations with people. Don’t talk at them. It’s a philosophy we call Conversationality.

Founded: 2005. By Jared Scott (Account Guy) and Steve O’Connell (Creative Guy). Both are Crispin Porter + Bogusky alums.

About: We actually see ourselves as less of an advertising agency and more of a brand architect. To us, advertising implies a few pieces of communication that have a limited shelf life. But a brand is something that lasts for years and years and has a momentous impact with people.”

Schwinn, Leatherman, vitaminwater, Powerade, Kimberly-Clark, TradeKing, Yakima, Advanta, T3, Simple

Something Fun:
(in their words) Agency culture = 15 percent late nights + 25 percent highly-caffeinated beverages + 20 percent arguing + 20 percent jumping on grenades + 10 percent beer Fridays + 5 percent + 5 percent “Shhh, we’re on a call with the client”. Did we mention that they’re also responsible for the Bionic Lobster? How dare we! (stickandmove dot com)

Send us your Boutique Call submissions at matt@mediabistro dot com.

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Boutique Call: Zig


Name/Location: Zig, Chicago and Toronto

Motto (mantra):
“ideas in their most powerful form”

Founded: 1999 in Toronto

“Quickly earned a reputation as one of the leading communications companies in Canada. This led to the opening of its first United States office in 2006, when it acquired edgy Chicago boutique Hadrian’s Wall. The agency has since continued to grow both offices, and includes a powerful digital group and growing media platform. It’s also full of creative talent that regularly brings home awards from Cannes, The One Show, the Clio Awards, Art Directors Club, Communication Arts….blahblahblah you get the idea.”

Clients: IKEA, Molson, Best Buy, Virgin Mobile, Pfizer, Toshiba, Elysian Hotels & Resorts, Unilever, Scotts, New York Fries, Mr. Sub, ethel’s chocolate lounge, Lithia Motors and more.

Something fun:
“In the spirit of being able to heckle our colleagues, we often place bets pitting our countries against each other. Most recently, the Chicago office placed a friendly wager for the Olympics as to which country would take home more medals. To be fair, we offered a 90-medal spread. The winner was to receive something intrinsically of the losing country &#151 so IF Toronto had won, we would have sent them apple pie, or a Ford pickup, or maybe Bon Jovi. Thankfully the US eked out the win, but we are still waiting for OUR booty (ed’s note: boutique???), and we’re callin’ them out! We want some maple syrup! But we’d settle for some politeness and good manners.”

Check ‘em out at zig ideas dot com.

More: All the Booty you’ll ever need.

Boutique Call: Walrus (Ed’s note: Kookookachoo?)


Agency/Location: Walrus, New York, New York (walrusnyc dot com).

Motto: “Sadly, we are motto-less.”

Founded: In 2005 by a bunch of ex-staffers from Mad Dogs & Englishmen.

About: “We think the world has a love-hate relationship with
advertising, and ad agencies. Mostly they hate it, but every once in a
while they’ll see something that they love. We believe that one loved
ad is worth more than 100 hated ones. Maybe that’s our motto…”

Clients: Grand Marnier, Radar Magazine, Food Bank for New York City, Very Short List, CW-X Conditioning Wear, Howard Stern On Demand, Return Path, 23/, and more.

Something Fun: They have a real, live animatronic spokes-walrus AND a shaveable beaver on their site.

As always, send us your Boutique Call submissions at matt@mediabistro dot com.

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Boutique Call: Behavior Design


Name/Location: Behavior Design; New York, NY.

Motto (sorta): “A compelling user experience is what separates a great interactive product from a good one.”

Founded: “…2001 by a leadership team of Web development veterans…”

About: This shop focuses on UX and interactive storytelling. So guys, is it about the story or the medium?

HBO, National Geographic Channel, AARP, MoMA, The Onion, UBS, XM, E*Trade and a bunch more.

Something Fun: Build trubeverage dot com, where you can learn all about the real blood supplement, Tru Blood, for the HBO series TrueBlood. This blood’s for you (Check out a spot for TruBlood, after the jump).

More: See all the Boutique Calls, ever, right here.

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